ESPN’s Graziano: Kyler Murray’s long-term future on Cardinals already of interest

May 23, 2023, 5:47 PM | Updated: May 24, 2023, 9:09 am

Kyler Murray is not even into the first year where his $230.5 million contract extension signed last July begins eating away massive amounts of the Arizona Cardinals’ salary books.

But the long-term future of the quarterback in Arizona is already squarely in view because of circumstances that have little to do with his performance.

In an exercise of asking one question about a quarterback on every NFL roster, ESPN’s Dan Graziano paints the wide-view picture surrounding Murray. While we’ll wonder how his ACL recovery impacts the Cardinals’ 2023 season, the context around Murray brings up many more questions beyond this coming year.

The Cardinals have a new GM, a new coach, a weak-looking roster and five picks in the first three rounds of next year’s draft. So, you ask, could they be thinking of moving on from Murray this time next year? Well, maybe, but it won’t be easy. The contract he signed with them last offseason guarantees him $35.3 million in 2024, and if he’s still on the roster at the start of the 2024 league year, another $30 million in 2025 money becomes guaranteed.

On one hand, Murray should be eager to get back on the field and show his new employers he’s the guy they can count on long term. On the other, the contract really does protect him in case he can’t. If you had to bet on this, it’s probably safer to think Murray is going to be there for a while. But until we see him on the field again, this situation will remain shrouded in mystery.

The missing context there is this: The Cardinals’ new brass has made certain to prioritize and connect with the quarterback.

Arizona’s leaders took heat in media circles for spending a weekend on the road, attending the Oklahoma Sooners’ honoring of Murray with a statue unveiling this April. The franchise has been sure to position Murray as the franchise face as Pro Bowlers like Budda Baker and DeAndre Hopkins have been thrown deep into the trade rumor waters.

Still, with the Cardinals projected to select high in the 2024 NFL Draft with either or both of their own draft pick and owning the Houston Texans’, the likely draft stock and eligibility of USC Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams could set Arizona up for yet another heel-turn behind center.

If the Cardinals choose, at least.

Arizona Cardinals

Hollywood Brown...

Tyler Drake

Marquise Brown leads Cardinals WRs into life post-DeAndre Hopkins

There's no way around it, the Arizona Cardinals' wide receivers room took a shot Friday morning with the release of DeAndre Hopkins.

9 hours ago

Isaiah Simmons practices...

Tyler Drake

Nick Rallis, Cardinals not rushing process with LB Isaiah Simmons

Arizona Cardinals linebacker Isaiah Simmons has been a defensive nomad throughout his career. Will he have a home in Year 4?

1 day ago

Budda Baker #3 of the Arizona Cardinals shakes hands with fans after beating the Seattle Seahawks 2...

Wills Rice

Carson Palmer believes Cardinals need Budda Baker

Carson Palmer thinks keeping safety Budda Baker around is vital for the rebuilding years of the Arizona Cardinals.

1 day ago

DeAndre Hopkins...

Arizona Sports

Breer: ‘There’s a healthy divide’ on what ex-Cardinal DeAndre Hopkins has left

The MMQB's Albert Breer sees a split between those who think Hopkins still has something left and those who feel his price tag is too steep.

2 days ago

DeAndre Hopkins speaks after a game...

Dan Bickley

DeAndre Hopkins’ release ends WR’s selfish legacy with Cardinals

For the second time in three years, DeAndre Hopkins is moving on to another team and bringing little or nothing of value in return.

2 days ago

Zaven Collins tackles Dalvin Cook...

Tyler Drake

Vikings hosting joint practices with Cardinals ahead of preseason matchup

The Minnesota Vikings are hosting the Arizona Cardinals for joint practices ahead of their preseason tilt on Aug. 26.

2 days ago

ESPN’s Graziano: Kyler Murray’s long-term future on Cardinals already of interest